List of questions from sitters to owners

As part of my questionnaire, I do not ask about cameras but if I were to spot one in an areas where I get undressed, I would cover it up. In a separate document, I do say I will not have visitors staying and do not expect to have cleaners/ couriers coming unless told beforehand. I would want to know the physical address before confirming the sit. When you have the physical address, you can then check via various sites such as police sits to see crime rate in neighbourhood. You can also check to see if there are s x criminals (esp if your US west coast). With neighbours, I let owner volunteer info because they could be the nosey, intrusive type but might be useful to know one or two if the owner turns out to be no-polar or just plain weird.


What do you mean by “no-polar”?

Hi @Crookie , what I do is similar to what @Snowbird does. I have no problem asking about cameras or third parties and explain that indoor cameras and third parties are not permitted as per THS policy. I do not ask if an area is safe. I can check this out myself once I know the name of the section and/or their cross streets. As for neighbors, I ask if there are any issues with the neighbors that I should know about. This usually yields useful info, such as, there are mostly renters in the area, the next door neighbor is the owner’s grandson who doesn’t take care of the place and is not very sociable, all of the neighbors are wonderful, etc.

Misunderstood what @mars meant. Got it :+1:

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@TheMapleKiwi , what those homeowners meant was that it was a transient population where they lived and they did not know the neighbors well. No negative connections at all.


Sorry Crookie, I mean bi polar (split personality, mentally unstable)

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Sitters and owners - this is important.

7am on a Wed morning and the day hasn’t even started yet. Suddenly the silence is shattered by the alarm shrieking for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. The neighbours came by, I contacted the emergency contact, I even sent a note to the homeowner even though it’s 2am where she is. Nothing worked (yanking the battery, shutting off power to the house). We needed the code and didn’t have it because the alarm is never used. It shut off by itself roughly 30 min after starting but not before upsetting everyone within hearing distance, including the dogs.

So - lesson learned. We will ALWAYS get the alarm code in the future even if the alarm is never used.


Thank you @Myhnabird excellent advice and what a learning.

I’m sure that you are not the only one who’s been subjected to the ear piercing sound of a house alarm … I have when the fob wouldn’t work … I still say “pardon?”

Seriously though, thank you for sharing.

This is a great observation, I would not feel comfortable having a Nanny Cam on me. Along these lines, at our first sit the HO made us aware that her pup’s Activty Tracker battery had run down and asked us to plug it in. After that we felt that WE were being tracked, did we walk the pups the times the number required for the length of time required.


I would ask the HO if there have been any changes in the health of their pets. Sounds obvious, but ask if the pet is on meds. We received a list of meds/times/dosages on arrival. We would never have accepted a sit with these responsibilities .
Also, check the home responsibilities listed in the welcome guide. We received a list of ‘new’ responsibilities when we arrived at the home.
We are currently on a sit and we didn’t get any info about change in 3 of the pets’ health and then the added home responsibilities.
I’m feeling really nervous and overwhelmed about the sit and kicking myself for being so stupid for not asking and double-checking.
And then there is the ‘help yourself to anything and throw out what you don’t want’ - basically, clean the fridge.
Counting down days until it’s over.


Ask about HOA rules about where pets can and cannot be walked, disposal of poop bags.

I don’t think they are asking you to clean the fridge, just asking you not to leave food to go mouldy.


If a HO is going away for longer than a week and has left small containers with left over food, half-eaten hummus, a single cooked chicken breast and some ham- (uncertain date), mayo - that is already a tad dodgy, it’s clear that the sitter will have to throw the lot out on the first day of arrival.
It’s not that difficult to sort out perishable food before you go on vacation.


The trouble with pets is you can’t control their possible medication requirements. They could be fit and healthy when you book, but at the time of your stay, just had an accident, been diagnosed with an illness. I don’t see how you can avoid the possibility of having to medicate a pet at some point.

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You’re so right.
However, it would be good to know by text/email that a pet is ill - especially if it’s been on medication for a week before a sitter arrives.
Communication with a sitter ensures both parties are aware of changes.

All that is in the list , and more, should be a matter of normality! These things I would simply expect. Don’t people talk any more or ask questions, swap information or do they just walk blindly into situations? I despair!!!

@Wavingfish @Ken I think the point is hosts should notify sitters if there is a change in the health of the pet before the Sit starts We had two sits in a row earlier this year where thngs happened with the pets.
The first host notified us a week before that her dog had been vomiting and was on medication but was getting better and should be OK by the time we got there. The opposite happened- the dog became worse the day after we arrived- was roaming around the house all the first night obviously distressed. We were all awake all night- took her out at 3/4am- black poo & vomit. Called the host in another country (8 hour time difference)next day & agreed to take her to the emergancy vet where she was pumped with all sorts of meds. We had to arrange stool samples etc. 2 more vet visits in the first week. The dog continued to vomit daily around the house & we fed her a special rice/yoghurt diet which was the only thing she could eat. That first week was very stressful for us & the host 1000s miles away and we had a lot of contact. This was a month long sit. After a week when the poor dog got better we absolutely fell in love with her- such a sweety and awful to have witnessed her suffering.
The second host was working overseas and only arriving at her home (where the dog was) a few days before us. We called a week before to check in and the host casually said- oh by the way the dog is having an OP the day before you arrive so you’ll need to take her for stitches out after a week, and keep her on the lead, don’t let her dressings get wet etc. We had not been expecting to play nursemaid, although ofcourse things can always happen to pets on a sit (& to humans!)so we are prepared for anything, but we felt the host was much too casual in her attitude and took it for granted it would all just be fine for us. This dog too was an absolute sweetie and turned out to be a model patient. The host however did not want to be bothered by any updates while she was away, (2 weeks) except for when the stitches came out!

Both these situations were unexpected but the difference berween these two hosts was that one was fully engaged with us throughout the whole process and the other was much too casual and uninvolved. The second one also left us a dirty house which needed a good 2 hours deep cleaning the minute she left (we overlapped one night) In the end though both hosts were extremely grateful for our care of their dogs and both wrote excellent reviews… but only the first one got a wonderful feedback from us in return…


I agree completely that the hosts should notify the sitters of the condition of their pets and any problems that may occur but the nitty gritty of it all is that you are there , primarily, to look after the pets. If they need any care whatsoever and it disrupts what you were hoping would be a nice holiday as well as walking the dog or whatever, then that is just hard luck. Maybe I’m too narrow minded but sitters are there to look after the pets under all and any circumstances. The sitters comforts come a second best! If a sitter doesn’t understand that they shouldn’t be sitting. Conversely I cannot understand a host, as you have said, being casual’ with regard their pets. They have gone to the trouble to arrange a sitter and then appear to not take an interest!! very odd!

@Ken I have read many comments from you on various threads and also responses to my posts and I have come to the conclusion you are not a host I would choose to sit for.


Then we agree on something at least!!